Learning to drive isn’t easy. You have to find a teacher that is qualified, in your area, and available around your time frames. However, there are some driving schools out there which aren’t suitable. There are even fake schools, set up to scam and take advantage of those learning to drive. There are several warning signs you need to look out for, including the following:
Some schools will offer special discounts, such as five lessons for £50. While this sounds tempting, what this often means is that your 5th, 10th, 15th, 20th and 25th lessons are £10, and the rest of the lessons in-between are full price. Because you've bought a package of lessons, you're lumped in to learn with that instructor for the duration of said lessons - whether you like them or not.
Sometimes you have to pay for the special offer lessons upfront, then pay the normal price for other lessons. And if you leave the instructor before redeeming your lessons, you don’t get a refund. So always check the terms and conditions of any offer before buying.
The DVSA does not give out awards. The instructor is either approved or not. If an instructor says they’re award-winning, you should check what the award is for and ask for proof.
No instructor can guarantee you a pass. You could have excellent driving lessons, feel mentally prepared and have an instructor’s blessing to take the test. But on the day, something goes wrong and you fail. It happens.
Instructors that claim a 100% pass rate are probably counting those that have taken tests multiple times before passing, or not counting those who have quit after failing. If this is the case, they're being dishonest, and are probably not a stellar example of a trustworthy teacher you should be investing your money in.
Crash courses are those where the instructor teaches you everything within one week. This sounds like a tempting offer, but they are seldom successful and are just a way for the instructor to earn lots of money within one week.
It can take up to 45 hours of driving before you can take your first test and you need to have experience in a variety of situations. This can’t be done in a crash course.
There are some great instructors out there. But not every instructor is legitimate. Always ensure that your driving instructor doesn’t demonstrate any of the warning signs above. If in doubt, ask them questions and if it doesn’t feel right, choose another instructor.
If you’re looking for a driving instructor, contact us at Julie Murphy’s Driving School; we have ADI-qualified, friendly, female and male instructors who can help you learn.